Wednesday, 20 August 2014


When I first got my bike, my main goal was to save money on commuting. This has kind of worked. Once you desert monthly travel passes for pay as you go Oyster, the money can clock up when you do need to take the tube or bus so each month, I am trying my hardest to avoid Oyster usage as much as possible.

The second reason I got a bike was to ensure I exercise daily and improve my overall fitness. This, I THINK is happening. As I return to running, my fitness isn't as bad as I thought and I do think cycling has helped keep the momentum going during injury.

I was so excited when my other half allowed me to have a bike. I had been pining for one for months but to him London cycling was a danger zone, which I can totally appreciate. However, with the promise to him that I would take a cycling proficiency lesson around the city I was finally given the green light to get a bike. Wahoo!

I opted for this baby - the Trek Lexa Women's Road Bike 2013. I got this as the 2014 model launched so managed to get some money off as it was the old model. This doesn't bother me though. It's just so pretty! (I'm not too girly at all).
The next step was making this bike commuter friendly and that meant adding extras. First up was a bike rack for the back wheel. This is where I fix both my locks with bungey cord. Attached to this I then also clip in my cycling tool kit. Due to being a short arse, I can't fit this under the saddle so at the moment it hangs off the rack. This contains tyre repair tools and materials, plus a mini bike pump. You can never too prepared for cycling in London! Or anywhere for that matter. 
Next, I wanted a decent backpack to fit all my clothing, toiletries, shoes and god knows what else I need. I was on a budget and didn't want to invest too much in a bag and found a steal in this Karrimor Sector 25 Rucksack. I actually purchased this from Sport's Direct for £24 but you can buy it directly from Karrimor's website for only £16 at the moment! 
First of all, I picked it for it's bright colour. This will enhance my visible presence to drivers on the road. It also is the ideal size to carry all my crap (s'cuse the bad language). I work in beauty PR, so looking in tip top condition for work is extremely important. By the time I arrive at the office I want everything I need to get ready packed neatly in one bag. This rucksack allows me to carry an entire outfit, my toiletries bag (containing baby wipes, face wipes, a flannel, deodorant and perfume) and my make-up bag (bursting with concealer, powder, eye shadow and of course lipstick). I then also have space for my breakfast and lunch.

In fact, this bag is so spacious I have even packed the above along with two towels and swimming kit! It was a tight squeeze but I managed it!
(my everyday cycling essentials)

I make sure I pack my bag the night before so I'm not faffing around in the morning. I then also layout my cycling kit, which is normally a running top with my Adidas shorts and trusty Mizuno Wave Rider 16s.

Each morning, as soon as my alarm rings, I am up. I never hesitate or lay there for a second extra otherwise I'd never get out of bed. I hop in the shower to wake me up and always finish using Nivea In Shower Body Moisturiser. This leaves my skin silky soft. 

Next, I chuck on my kit, throw my breakfast and lunch in my ready packed rucksack and head out the door. All this takes around 15/20 minutes. Getting on the bike, the first thing I pass is the clock tower in my neighbourhood and I always check the time. This is so I know roughly when I will arrive at work which is, on a good day, 25 minutes later. 
(arriving at work)

Getting to work, I head straight to the bathroom and use the flannel and baby wipes to freshen up. As I am showered, I never get sweaty really. My back does a little but this is due to the rucksack I carry.  I then chuck on my clothes and head to my desk where I sit for around 15 minutes sorting my face and hair out. By looking at the below pictures, you can truly see how blimmin brilliant make-up is!
(these two pictures show the importance of me drawing in my eyebrows. They also emphasise how little brow hair I have - embarrassing!)

I can normally do all of the above in around 20-25 minutes and by the time the rest of the team arrive at 9am, my rucksack is tidied away under the desk, helmet in hiding and my beauty PR self is all dolled up. Voila!

When 5.30pm strikes, it is then back to the loos to switch back into my gym gear (I normally lay my top over my bag under my desk during the day for the back to air out if it is ever damp). I then head straight out to my bike and cycle home to arrive at my front door around 6.15pm.

This new daily routine has been rather easy to adjust to. Yes, it may sound like an effort to some but I find heading out on a cycle ride every morning instead of being shoved into a tube carriage with hundreds of hot and bothered commuters a luxury. I love being outside, come rain or shine and my commute time has halved since I got my own set of wheels. 

Are you considering the switch to cycling for your commute to work? If so, I hope this post has been a good convincer!

Lipstick Runner.

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